Posts from the ‘nonfiction’ Category

#LittleMissHISTORY #virtualreality #SANSAR #INTERVIEW with Bernhard Drax

I recently had the opportunity to present Little Miss HISTORY  in animation. Thanks to Silas Merlin, who created the avatar, the character has come to life.

  • Little Miss HISTORY insists, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” On the day of our birth, we become a character in history because each of us has an opportunity to create our story and place our mark on history.

 

  • As we stand here in the twenty-first century, technology allows us to immerse ourselves in history. In 2003, Linden Lab launched a program called Second Life. Its users, who are called residents, use this technology to create virtual representations of themselves. These avatars can explore the virtual world, socialize and participate with other residents in a group or individual activities. Second Life has its own virtual currency that allows residents to create, shop, and trade virtual property with one another.

 

  • In 2014, Linden Lab announced a plan to develop a new virtual world. Content creators began working on the program named Project Sansar. The platform was released in “creator beta” to the public in July 2017. Users create 3D spaces where people can create and share social experiences such as watching videos, playing games, and having conversations. Participants are represented by avatars they create. These avatars contain speech-driven facial animations and motion driven body animations.

 

  • Sansar supports virtual reality headsets but can also be accessed with Windows computers. The program is free to use, but like Second Life Sansar has its own economy. Users can buy and sell their virtual creations with the Sansar dollar.

 

  • HOW DID LITTLE MISS HISTORY GET INVOLVED IN VIRTUAL REALITY? A few months ago, I was approached by Bernhard Drax to appear on his Book Club Radio podcast. When I heard that Little Miss HISTORY would have an opportunity to appear in virtual reality, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

  • Via “draxtor”..and media for all! Drax and his team now offer audio-visual storytelling for many media platforms. Bernhard Drax studied audio engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles and music at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater Munchen. He is an expert in user-created content in Virtual Reality. His award-winning mixed reality documentary series “The Drax Files: World Makers” is just one of his many video series featured on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres

 

I invite you to join us in a discussion about books, education, and history, past, present, and future!

 

Check out Little Miss HISTORY’s journey into virtual reality!

 

If you would like to read the entire interview on the podcast, please go here:

https://wp.me/p485L9-1N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATURE’S BEAUTY

My First Summer in Sierra

Written by John Muir

Published by Digireads.com

This book is a travel diary written by John Muir, in the summer of 1869. After the Civil War when John Muir returned from Canada, he secured a position with Carlo, a shepherd who was moving a herd of 2500 sheep up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir, who loved nature and the Yosemite region, jumped at the chance to join the group as a naturalist. He would document the journey, the wildlife, and the scenery along the way.
Readers read Muir’s recollections which are sometimes verbatim details, but also feel the emotion in his voice as he describes the grandeur and majesty of his surroundings. Muir’s love and appreciation of life forms in their natural surroundings come through as he excitedly reports his discoveries. This edition includes maps, drawings, and sketches. For those who appreciate the beauty of the planet, but cannot trek 9,000 feet up into the Sierras, one learns to appreciate the wildlife, the majesty of the sequoias, and the beauty of its pristine waters. Recommended for nature and travel lovers.

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#TwoLittleGolfersBeingPositive Blog Tour and #Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK

Written by Jenn Holt

Illustrated by Harry Aveira

Publisher’s Synopsis: Coach Jenn takes Alice and Izzy on the golf course to show them the value of positive self-talk,  a positive attitude, and to never give up, no matter how hard it gets. The story is told with some cute illustrations and is great for all sports kids.

Ages 0-7 | Publisher: Outskirts Press | October 29, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1977201263

PURCHASE LINKS

My Review:

The author is an LPGA golf instructor. She has written this book to help children understand the game of golf and to encourage them to have a positive attitude when playing sports.

Izzy and Alice are two friends who enjoy playing golf. On this beautiful day, they are with their coach, Jenn, at the golf course. Izzy is doing well, but Alice is having difficulty with her shots. Alice is embarrassed and disappointed with her game. Jenn encourages Alice to think positive thoughts. Izzy, on the other hand, takes her hits and misses in stride. I like the way Alice struggles to succeed and learns not to give up. Izzy is a good friend who tries to support her. Children learn about the game of golf and the value of persistence and practice. Many children give up too easily when they do not immediately succeed in a sport.

The illustrations remind me of bobblehead figures. There are lots of animals popping up all over the golf course. I would have liked to have seen a glossary with some golf vocabulary to help readers who have never played golf understand the game better.

Recommended particularly for readers ages six through ten.

I received a copy of this book and voluntarily agreed to read and review for the Children’s Book Review and author Jenn Holt with my honest opinions for this blog tour.

OFFICIAL LINKS

                                           GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of Jenn Holt’s Two Little Golfers Being Positive and one dozen pink golf balls and pink tees!

One (1) winner receives:

  • An autographed copy of Two  Little Golfers Being Positive

  • A set of one dozen pink golf balls and pink tees

Two (2) winners will receive:

  • An autographed copy of Two  Little Golfers Being Positive

Giveaway begins June 10, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 10, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 17 and older.

Jenn Holt is responsible for prize fulfillment.

FREE AT LAST

Hey Hilde

Written by Ross Hammond

 

Hilde is an adorable Capuchin monkey who leads a carefree life in the jungles of Bolivia until one day poachers come to capture her. Now Hilde is forced to do tricks while chained to a post by day and sleep in a cage every night. One day a volunteer from the rescue organization, CIWY arrives to rescue Hilde. After a long journey, she arrives at Machia Wildlife Sanctuary where she is free to roam with fellow wildlife creatures once more.

This real-life story teaches children empathy toward creatures who should live in the wild and affords them the opportunity to join the volunteer rescue organization. They raise money by creating awareness through products like this book. The illustrations and photographs are vivid and appealing in this richly illustrated picture book. Bonus activities include a coloring page and related activities. Highly recommended for all ages.

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STEM CELLS – A SOLUTION?

STEM CELLS – The Healing Revolution: Chronic Pain Relief and Regeneration without Drugs or Surgery

Written by Dr. Raj Banerjee

I’ve always been curious about stem cells and how they can be used to heal the body. This book is a wonderful introduction and clear explanation of the subject. Dr. Banerjee’s philosophy is to heal the body without pain or surgery. He goes through the steps of traditional medical treatments: diagnosis, further testing, treatment, surgery, and monitoring of the condition. Raj bemoans the fact that most traditional medical treatments only mask the problem or lead to further complications.

I was shocked to learn the wide range of medical problems that can be treated with stem cells: knee, joint and hip inflammation, skin trauma, diabetes, chronic pain, spinal and nerve damage, kidney conditions, thyroid problems, arthritis, autoimmune disease, shoulder, and cardiovascular pain. Stem cell therapy is noninvasive, promotes natural healing, and is results driven.

Dr. Banerjee cites many case studies including those of his mother and aunt. He promises an open, honest approach that is backed by proven medical research. He answers questions that frequently arise and facts to consider in deciding whether it is appropriate for the reader.

This is one reference book that I will keep handy. I am certainly ready to consider stem cell therapy when the need for medical treatment arises.

A WORLD OF MANY COLORS

UNDERSTANDING BOBBY’S AUTISM DIAGNOSIS: A Social Story

Written and illustrated by Bozena Zawisz

This book explains how an autistic child views his world. It is a valuable reference tool for parents and teachers of autistic children to use to explain autistic behavior. Many autistic children on the higher end of the spectrum are educated in inclusive classrooms. Children can become confused when these children avoid eye contact, have slower speech, and sensitivity to stimuli that other children think normal.

The author uses simple analogies like an abundance of twig branches to explain why autistic children may have difficulty focusing. She talks about teacher adaptations and how they assist an autistic child in learning. Different intensities of the colors of a rainbow is another good example of how all of us are different in the way we behave. Bobby and his friend John have overcome all these difficulties and have become the best of friends. Each of us has unique talents and skills All children need to give and receive respect for these strengths and differences.

I highly recommend this book which contains simple sketches for parents and teachers of elementary school and middle-school children who have contact with children on the autism spectrum.

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A WOMAN AHEAD OF HER TIME

Catherine The Great: A Life from Beginning to End

Hourly History Series

This short summary of Catherine The Great’s life provides good insight into a woman who was able to turn ambition into fulfillment. Catherine was born in modern-day Poland. Her mother’s wealthy relatives played a prominent part in her rise to power. She was betrothed to Peter, the prospective Tsar of Russia. Catherine despised Peter, but she did everything in her power to gain the love and support of the Russian people. She learned the Russian language, converted to the Eastern Orthodox faith, and acquired the support of the Russian military guard.

Catherine was an early feminist. She supported educational reforms for men and women, reformed the farming system by introducing European reforms, and introduced the principles of European Enlightenment, counting the philosopher, Voltaire, as one of her friends. Catherine extended the territorial boundaries of Russia and succeeded in many of her military goals. She devoted her life to power and did not shirk from using violence to achieve it. The principles she set forth laid the foundation for modern Russia.

Recommended as an introduction to Russian history or as a reference for student research into the subject. The essay is easy to read and is recommended for middle-grade and young adult readers as well as adults interested in biographies and history.

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